Marseillette is a 15-minute drive from “La Cité”, the beautiful medieval city of Carcassonne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and 25 minutes from the city of Narbonne. For lovers of ‘les plus beaux villages de la France’, Lagrasse and Minerve are highly recommended.
Marseillette is criss-crossed by the river ‘Aude’, where one can paddle or kayak in different places. Within walking distance you can enjoy the view of the boats passing by on the Canal de midi, also recognised as a world heritage site. In the centre of the village you will find the café ‘La Terrasse’ where you can have a meal at democratic prices.
The village is surrounded by numerous vineyards and lies on the border of the Corbières and Minervois wine regions. In the immediate environment there are numerous wineries where the welcoming winegrowers will be happy to welcome you for a visit, a word of explanation or a degustation.
Less than 10 minutes away is Trèbes with two large supermarkets for everyday shopping. In Trèbes, enjoy the pleasant terraces on the pleasure port of the “Canal du midi” and treat yourself to delicious tapas and local wines from the tapas and wine bar “Les Vignes de Bacchus”.
In the département of the Aude and in the immediate neighbourhood there are many markets that offer you the chance to experience the French way of life. The markets usually start around 09:00 and end shortly after noon (l’heure de l’apéro). Local craftsmen offer their ‘Produit du terroir’ at the markets.
Markets in the area
MIREPOIX : monday from 07 :00 am to 13 :00 pm
OLONZAC : tuesday from 07 :00 am to 13 :00 pm
LEZIGNAN: wednesday from 07 :00 am to 13 :00 pm
CARCASSONNE : tuesday, thursday and saturday from 07:00 am to 13:00 pm
NARBONNE : thursday, all day
Sunday from 07 :00 am to 13: 00 pm
Every day from 08:00 am to 14:00 pm in “LES HALLES” : regional products
Places to visit
Situated on the right bank of the Aude River with its 3 kilometres of city walls and 52 towers, high up Carcassonne is the largest fortified city in Europe! This famous and impressive medieval city in Aude, a UNESCO world heritage site, is one of the most visited destinations in France. It was beautifully restored in the 19th century by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.
From June to August, the Carcassonne Festival offers a varied programme of classical music, opera, dance, circus art, theatre, concerts of French and international pop music… What you should also experience is the special atmosphere of the medieval town on 14 July, and the knights’ tournaments in the arenas in July and August.
The medieval village of Minerve, bordered to the south by the Canal du Midi, and to the north by the Montagne noire, is surrounded by a breathtaking backdrop: the gorges carved in the limestone of the Causses and covered with plants, combined with human architectural highlights such as the magnificent viaduct that gives access to the village. One of its strong points is its geographical location. Minerve is situated on a rock where two rivers meet, the Brian and the Cesse, giving it the appearance of a peninsula. Thus, the houses are high up on their rock; seen from the air, they seem to hang in the air. So it is only logical that Minerve is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France!
Nestled in the heart of the Corbières Massif, on the banks of a peaceful river, the picturesque village of Lagrasse is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France. It blends harmoniously with its old donkey bridge over the Orbieu, its medieval houses, the remains of a former town wall and the abbey, situated under the shade of its impressive bell tower. Before visiting Sainte-Marie d’Orbieu Abbey, take a stroll around the medieval town; a very charming place where you can admire, among other things, an old hall dating back to the 14th century with stone pillars, craft shops and a Gothic-style church on the list of Historic Monuments.
About fifteen kilometres from Narbonne, in the heart of a quiet Corbières valley, the former abbey of Sainte-Marie de Fontfroide is nestled amidst cypresses and pines. It was founded at the end of the 11th century by Benedictine monks, who joined the Order of Cîteaux in 1145.
This beautifully restored Cistercian monument is open to the public all year round, and can be visited during a guided tour of about an hour, or a themed visit… The opportunity to admire the tranquil sites, such as the 12th century abbey church with its modern stained-glass windows, the cloister with its Romanesque supporting poles, the magnificent capital rooms with marble columns, the buildings for monks and lay people, not forgetting, of course, the gardens and terraces, and the magnificent rose garden with no less than 2,500 rose bushes!
It also hosts tastings of the AOP Corbières wines from the estate, as well as many cultural events, from music concerts to exhibitions, but also the plant festival in May.
The castle of Montségur, symbol of the Cathar resistance, was built at the beginning of the 13th century and was a refuge for many Cathars persecuted during the Inquisition. The castle became the scene of the tragedy of the “Prat dels Cremats”, the field of burning, after a ten-month siege by the royal army in March 1244. 225 Cathars who refused to surrender ended up burned at the stake. The Historical and Archaeological Museum, located in the village of Montségur, tells the history of this place and of the Cathars through a rich collection of objects from excavations carried out on the site of the castle.
Perched on a rocky ridge at an altitude of 1207 metres, the castle of Montségur, accessible via a half-hour walk, offers, next to its remains, a magnificent view over the village in the depths and the surrounding countryside.
Appropriately nicknamed the dizzying castle, Peyrepertuse’s impressive Cathar castle reigns from its rock over the village of Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse, and its unspoilt, preserved landscapes. Domain of William of Peyrepertuse at the time of the Crusades against the Albigensians, and an essential element in the defence of the French kingdom against Aragon, this fortified, elevated site now reveals its extraordinary remains. Like a stone sentry guarding the Corbières massif, this huge medieval fortress, on the list of Historical Monuments, is made up of three parts: the lower fortified wall with the dungeon, the middle fortified wall and, at its highest point, the dungeon of Sant-Jordi, accessible via the Saint-Louis staircase.
From the car park on the way to the castle there is also a steep road, which makes it possible to reach the ruins of Peyrepertuse after more than a quarter of an hour’s climb. Once upstairs, you will not only be able to admire a remarkable example of medieval military architecture, but you will also be treated to a magnificent view of the surrounding green hills…
Every year in the month of August the medieval festival of Peyrepertuse takes place at the castle and in the village of Duilhac-sous-Peyrepertuse for two days. Then young and old are taken back to the Middle Ages, with medieval performances, concerts, banquet, market and activities.
In the heart of the Corbières massif, just a stone’s throw from the village of Cucugnan, made famous by the Letters of Mine of Alphonse Daudet, stands the Cathar castle of Quéribus on the top of a narrow rocky outcrop; a medieval castle at an altitude of 728 metres, recognisable by its impressive castle tower surrounded by three successive walls… The castle of Quéribus, shelter for the Cathar monks during the crusade against the Albigensians, was the last stronghold of the Cathar resistance, which finally fell into the hands of the Crusaders in 1255.
The location of Quéribus can be reached in about a ten minute walk via a steep road, where you will be rewarded from the terrace of its polygonal castle tower with breathtaking views of the Corbières, the Roussillon plain, the Mediterranean and the Pyrenees! The beautiful Gothic room of the castle tower with pointed arches is also one of the highlights of the visit.
Located 25 km from Carcassonne, the gorge was discovered in 1970 by the caving club of the Aude. The gorge has impressive dimensions, 80 m wide and 250 m depth, it is known worldwide for its richness of training, all underground environment offers more prestigious discs, eccentrics, aragonite, draperies, columns , waterfalls …
The variety of crystallizations is exceptional in crystals of calcite and aragonite, richly coloured with metal oxides (iron and manganese).
The red room, so named after the ochre light due to the presence of iron oxide, with discs, large plates of crystallization literally hanging from the ceiling and which can weigh several hundred pounds.
The extensive metro network is crossed by an underground river whose bed is carved in marble blue. Crossing several kilometres underground, the river returns to the spotlight at the foot of the castles “Cathar” Lastours.
Limousis Cave, 10 minutes from Carcassonne, a journey to the centre of the earth, will take you through time. Carved by an underground river, the water was liberated from its cavity decorated with beautiful stalactites whose exceptional brilliance aragonite, unique in the world for its size (4 m high and 10 m wide) and its beauty.
Located on the banks of the Bages-Sigean ponds, the Sigean African Reserve is an important area for the protection of endangered species and their natural environment. It is home to around 900 mammals, 600 reptiles and 2,000 birds, some of which live freely, on 300 acres.
The Sigean Reserve is open to the public all year round and offers two different visitor routes:
A car route of about an hour through the African jungle, the park of Tibetan bears, the lion park and the African savannahs where white rhinos, zebras and Somali donkeys can be admired.
A walking route of about three hours invites young and old to meet antelopes, ostriches and other animals of the African plain. You can also see the chimpanzee island, the vivarium and the pond of l’Œil de Ca, inhabited by flamingos and pink-backed pelicans…
Aqualand Port Leucate water park, in the Aude, is located on the beach of this seaside resort on the coast that separates the Leucate pond from the Mediterranean Sea.
The park has ten attractions divided into four categories: “sensations”, “family”, “children”, “relaxation”. Between wave pools, water slides, children’s pools, relaxation areas or for thrill-seekers, a large public (young children, teenagers and adults) can have fun in the immediate vicinity of the beaches of the Gulf of Lion.
The Aqualand Port Leucate park is open in summer, every day from the beginning of July to the beginning of September. Price: from 10, 17 and 23 euros depending on age. Information on +33 4 68 40 99 98.
Near the medieval town of Carcassonne, in a natural setting, Lake Cavayère (40 hectares) is home to rich Mediterranean vegetation. A perfect place for walks and relaxation, with picnic areas, pedalos, mini-golf, inflatable water games, various beach volleyball courts and a tree adventure park. All water activities are permitted with the exception of motorised activities. Swimming is permitted in the guarded areas marked with buoys.
Lac de la Cavayère covers an area of 40 hectares and has a maximum depth of 23 metres. Hidden and sheltered from the wind, it is ideal for beginners who want to go windsurfing. It has 300 metres of equipped beach (grass and sand), playgrounds, picnic areas, picnic tables, water activities and miniature golf courses and a tree climbing area. During the summer holidays there are slides, bouncy castles and other activities for children. There is a van and also a small cabin where you can buy food and drinks, but it’s the perfect place to bring your own picnic and relax all day long.
Comments from guests : “We had a great time here. There is a sandy beach that is perfect for building sand castles and there is also a pebble beach. The water is ideal for swimming and as it is very calm it is ideal for children. You can walk around the lake, it is about an hour’s walk”.
The recreational area of Lac de Jouarres is an attractive place to stay and is located in the immediate vicinity of Azille, Homps, Olonzac and Pépieux. The lake is popular with tourists because of its location amidst pine forests and vineyards. On the lake you can go sailing, catamaran and pedalo. Swimming is allowed in the guarded area. You can picnic under the trees or use the restaurant and bar on the grounds.
In Puicheric, ten minutes drive from the house, you will find the water sports centre where you can practice many water sports such as canoeing, canyoning, rafting, canorafting, hydrospeed, stand-up paddle, climbing, caving, …